The Internet of Everything  – Here Come The hackers

FridgeHack

Just because you can does not mean you should, especially if you don’t do it well. What am I talking about? The Internet of Everything (IoE)  – connecting the unconnected. What is the Internet of Everything?  According to the Oxford dictionary, the Internet of Everything is –

“A proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data.”

More and more everyday products (so-called smart appliances) will connect to the Internet.  You may have seen some of the cool commercials from various companies that talk about controlling your house (alarm system, video camera, heating & air, lights, garage door, front door) from your smartphone over the Internet.

That’s all well and good, but is anyone really thinking about security and hackers? Once you connect anything to the Internet, someone besides you can possibly to access it. Currently the focus of the various R& D departments of these companies that are creating these IoE devices seems to be the cool\wow factor. Look at what we can do. I don’t see much talk about security. In my research, some  old protocols (protocol = an agreed upon way of communicating) are used to make these devices talk to each other. Old protocols mean unpatched software\firmware and increased vulnerabilities.

I think from day one, security should be built into these devices. When a vulnerability is discovered in one of these devices, who is responsible for applying the fix or upgrade? Does the homeowner do it manually or will the device automatically update itself?  I know many people that barely keep their computers or tablets updated, and now they have to keep their toaster updated as well?  I have read that some of these appliances can’t even be updated. What happens then? I would not want to have a device in my home that is connected to the Internet that has a known risk, and I can’t even update it.

By 2020, revenue from the Internet of Everything sector is expected to be $300 billion. It goes without saying, with that type of money on the line, the devices and products will be produced. All I am saying is in the first meeting for any product ideas, security should be a big part of the conversation. If people are hacked (as a baby monitor was recently) people will not buy these devices.

Just because you have the ability to talk or text while driving does not automatically mean you should. The same is true for IoE. Does everything need to be connected to the Internet?  Ask yourself, will companies make their REAL money from the sale of these devices themselves or from selling the data that these devices will undoubtedly collect about you. I think the Internet of Everything will mean less privacy.

Below are a few links to articles that talking about how IoE devices have been hacked already.

http://www.wired.com/2014/07/hacking-hotel-room-controls

http://www.fox19.com/story/25310628/hacked-baby-monitor

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/04/us-usa-privacy-cameras-idUSBRE98317P20130904

http://www.businessinsider.com/hackers-use-a-refridgerator-to-attack-businesses-2014-1

John L. Jones

 

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One thought on “The Internet of Everything  – Here Come The hackers

  1. I never really think about it this way. I always think of Orwell’s writing about ‘Big Brother’, no need to have everyone or anyone knowing more than they have too.

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